Teachers who stick with their profession for the long run are often among the most dedicated, selfless people, prioritizing countless young people’s development over their own needs.
Not all of them get to see how much they’ve impacted the lives they’ve touched, but one elementary school teacher from Greenfield, Wisconsin, who made education her life recently got a tear-jerking show of gratitude.
Carol Mack has taught at least two generations of students during her 45 years at Christ Lutheran School in Big Bend. This was her last year teaching, as she has stage 4 cancer.
Despite her state, the 66-year-old continued teaching this year until she couldn’t anymore. On Nov. 3, she was moved from Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee to hospice care — but not before getting a beautiful sendoff.
“Yesterday, 26 students lined up outside the hospital entrance,” Aurora Health Care shared on Facebook on Nov. 4.
“Carol was there to greet her current and former students, including some of their parents whom she also taught, and hear the kids sing worship songs to her.”
The students, representing the first through fourth grades, probably don’t know how much it meant to their teacher to show up for her in that way, but many others do.
“When I saw her and the kids singing, it was the most rewarding thing,” Luiza Campols, one of the nurses caring for Mack, said, according to WDJT-TV. “We were very lucky to be a part of that. It was the most beautiful, touching thing.”
“She didn’t have children of her own but has more kids than she could ever count,” occupational therapist and church member Nicole Bartnik added.
“To see so much love coming back to somebody that is so selfless and deserving, it is a true blessing.”
Many people chimed in on the hospital’s post to share how she had taught them or their children, or both. Many recalled her being one of their favorite teachers, and most expressed their thanks for her work and their sincere belief that she will be going to a better place.
“This is beautiful,” one person wrote. “Ms. Mack was a teacher I was blessed to have. What an amazing example of servanthood she has been all these years leading Jesus’s little lambs.”
“She was so special!” another wrote. “Recognized my son’s color blindness in first grade many years ago back in 1979-80.”
“Godspeed Mrs. Mack and safe travels, God has more work for you in his school,” a third commented.
Even though the event was put on for her, in true teacher style, Mack’s wish was that other people would find it enlightening.
“It was overwhelming and very special,” she said. “I hope people see how much these kids and their teacher loved each other and how our school community came together.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.